You Shall Never Know Security by J.R. Hamantaschen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The type of story within You Shall Never Know Security is a favorite of mine to read, so my opinion on J. R. Hamantaschen could be considered biased. The stories are weird and very dark. They’re also intelligent and linger in your thoughts after reading. I found that I had to stop sometimes just to digest what I had just read.
You Shall Never Know Security is full of raw emotion and themes that are the obvious result of some very deep thought. Each story is actually about something. They are real even at their most absurd. They’re topics has affected us all one way or another. They can be terribly sad or angry, but around the middle of the collection there is one comedic story that does well in relieving the tension.
The stories that had the most effect on me are as follows: Endemic is, perhaps, one of the strangest stories I’ve ever read. It poses an interesting approach to catching rapists. A Parasite in Your Brain makes me want J. R.’s version of a parasitic spider to stretch its legs out amongst the folds of my own brain. Truth is Stanger than Fiction paid homage to Lovecraft, I think, and very well done. Sorrow has its Natural End is, perhaps, the story that affected me the most. It’s about a man in his twenties whose gone blind. His dark spiritual journey is probably similar to what mine would be if I were to go blind. College is about a professor who asks his student some very interesting morality questions in an experiment that reminded me of a course I took while in college myself.
With this collection, J. R. manages to remind the reader of Lovecraft and Ligotti, while at the same time remaining completely faithful to his own ideas, themes, and voice. What it comes down to is this: as a writer myself, one who also aspires create weird horror, reading these stories made me a little jealous. Okay, I lie. They made me a lot jealous. I wish I could write at Hamantaschen’s calibre and level of talent. I look forward to reading more.
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